eXperience Day 2011

Following our successful experience day last month we asked the presenters of the keynote session to summarise their experience of the day.

First up following Suraj's keynote was Andy Perkins, Software Architect to demo new features of xForms.

A relatively small number of the 20 or so new features added to XForms Professional in version 1.3 were demo'd during the keynote session (Mobile forms, Form Access Control, Data Retention Policies). Those that were demo'd seemed to be well received, and there was even a small ripple of laughter from one of my poor jokes (very much appreciated to those few of you that did by the way!). Please do let your account managers know if you require a more in-depth demo of these features organising.

During the networking time, there were a few new faces for me to meet (always a pleasure). It's always good to hear the innovative ways that you are using the platform, and how you are integrating aspects of this into your other back office systems.

During the XFP product session, we ran through the rest of the new features coming to 1.3, and listened to your questions with great interest. There was some initial excitement regarding the ESRI GIS integration that I managed to quickly show at the end of the session. Our MarketPlace Manager James Robinson will be only too pleased to receive any questions regarding this for those interested.

There has been a number of new feature requests since eXperience day 11, a few of which we have managed to squeeze into the current build in time for the 1.3 release. We are starting to review features now in preparation to finalise the 1.4 roadmap, so do please feel free to submit any new feature suggestions for consideration.


Next came Lee Pilmore, Head of UX to showcase Pulsar.

Public speaking in any shape or form generally puts me in a place I'd like nothing more than to run from, as some illogical wiring in my head encourages me with great effect to avoid it at all costs. Maybe this X11 went some way to fixing this, as I genuinely felt excited to show the work so far on the Pulsar project and less inclined to run.

More than anything Pulsar is an invigorating shift in how we look at the design of our software. We want it to be more human, softer to touch and easier to use. Our experience of software effects our daily lives, if an emotional response to a given task is mild disappointment or slight frustration, then that software could very possibly be improved. We genuinely want to make you happier. Not corporate satisfaction. But just to play a part in making you happier with the technology you use.

Like anything, with small steps the possibility of great strides becomes tangible. So as I explained at X11, Pulsar has just begun, it is a work in progress and very much open to change. Making the complex feel simple requires iteration. Knowing simplicity is achieved requires feedback and conversation.

Three small steps in terms of functionality and User Interface are almost ready. The create new menu, so simple, so neat. Searching for content with real time results, so neat, so fast. And search results to organise everything you find, create, share and do. Softening the design and making it friendlier is also important to us. From your feedback so far, you seem to agree.

So I very much enjoyed showing you Pulsar and I enjoyed the feedback even more. Sharing with you the ideas and work so far means we can move forward confidently and with a strong sense of purpose to our goal of making things simpler, faster and happier.


Finally Rich Backhouse took to the stage to demo some of the key new features of Jadu Universe CMS along with new tools to help with migration.

It's always great to get feedback directly from customers. So much can be lost over email and support tickets. Having a two way conversation is always better. The reception for the new features was fantastic and a few people were very interested in the new migration tools, especially the Firefox plug in. "I could have wept when you demoed that", someone told me. We're going to be beta testing the Firefox plug in with some interested and selected organisations soon so let us know if you want to be a part of this.

There were a lot of suggestions that came out of the CMS session in the afternoon, some small and some large. What I really wanted to do was get a feel for consensus for the suggestions as we really want to add features and make changes that benefit the community as a whole and not just add features on a per-request basis. This would lead to bloated software that would have features that many people wouldn't use. This is a bad place for a piece of software to be in.

There were many suggestions for improvements to the events functionality and it's clear that some improvements here would have a wide benefit. We'll be looking at this closely. There were also some suggestions for widgets (e.g. showing news or events for a particular category) that I will feed back to James Robinson, our MarketPlace Manager - we're always on the lookout for new widget ideas.

We're coming up to the end of the development cycle for 1.12 and it will soon be going into test. As such it's going to be difficult to get many of the suggestions into this next release. I'm sure there will be one or two we can squeeze in though and we will bear all of the suggestions in mind for future releases.


Full release notes can be found on support.jadu.net

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